Entries from November 2011 ↓

Making the most of your LinkedIn profile

All social media sites have their place and LinkedIn’s is right at the top of the professional networking tree.

You often hear stories of people being ‘found’ by prospective employers and being offered their dream job, all because of their LinkedIn profile.

So how can you make sure you stand out from the crowd?

Well, it’s all about getting noticed, so keep reading to find out how you can maximise your profile.

7 ways to boost your LinkedIn profile

There are 7 elements within your LinkedIn profile which must be maximised to make the most of your listing.

1. Headline

As with all sales and marketing, your headline is the very important.

You need to sum up, as succinctly as possible:

  • Who you are
  • Who you  can help
  • How you can help them

This will tell the reader everything they need to know in an instant and allow them to decide whether they want to read on or not.

2. Be real

It’s too tempting to be boring, business like and wooden in your profile.

Granted, people are going to want to know about you from a business perspective, but they also what to get to know the real you.

In your summary, show something about yourself – your goals, what you love doing, what makes you get out of bed in the morning. By offering a personal insight into who you are enables a connection at a personal level.

3. Spelling

This one always crops up in lists like this, mainly because it’s so important.

It doesn’t take long to proofread something, so make sure you go through your profile and spell check it. A typo or grammar gaff could cause you to be overlooked.

4. Call to action

One thing often overlooked in LinkedIn profiles is a call to action.

It’s something you automatically place within your copywriting, so why not add one here too?

After your profile has told them how great you are and what you can do for them, direct them to your website for more information or give them a phone number/email address so they can easily get in touch with you.

5. Proof

OK, so your profile shows you can talk the talk, but so you have any concrete proof to back everything up?

Make sure you detail your education background, any awards you have won as well as recommendations from past clients. All this evidence will help convince the reader that you’re the person they need.

6. SEO

Yes, you can search engine optimise your profile.

Make sure your keywords appear in your:

  • Headline
  • Current work experience
  • Past work experience
  • Summary
  • Specialities

7. Be different

This one will make you stand out from the crowd. Try and be original when putting together your profile. Don’t stick to the normal description that will make you blend in. Think about what you can say that will make you different. Don’t just follow the crowd, try to put yourself across in a unique and memorable way.

Over to you

Have you had successes with your LinkedIn profile?

Did it land you your dream job?

Leave a comment below and let your experience help others.


Social Media – Why You Should Watch What You Say

Using social media has become a part of our everyday lives.

Once upon a time, we would pick up the phone or pop round for coffee when we wanted to catch up or arrange outings.

Today, it’s a whole different ball game. You can maintain relationships through outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. But there is one major difference with the social media age compared with the ‘olden days.’

91% of employers use social media to screen applicants

When you post a comment on Facebook or send out a tweet, it’s not something that just disappears after your conversation has ended.

Before, you could say anything to anyone (within reason) and you could get away with it. Your private life and social life were completely separate from your employer. Unless you told them about the bender you went on at the weekend, they were unlikely to find out.

But, social media changes everything.

The rather sobering statistic above was recently reported by The Drum.

Because your status updates on your social media sites are there for all to see, they are an invaluable source to perspective employers.

Let’s face it, when in an interview situation, we all just tell the panel what they want to hear, so the impression they get of us isn’t always the whole truth. But now, by using social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, they will see the bigger picture.  In fact (according to the Reppler survey):

  • 47% of employers check social networking sites to screen prospective employees immediately after receiving their job application
  • 69% have rejected a candidate based on something they saw
  • 13% of candidates were rejected because they’d lied about their qualifications
  • 11% were rejected because of posting inappropriate comments, inappropriate photos, posting negative comments about a previous employer or demonstrating poor communication skills

But before you head off and delete all your social media accounts, it’s not all bad.

68% were found to have employed someone because of what they saw about them on a social networking site, with a positive impression on their personality and organisational fit being at the top of the list.

The moral is…

Social media is great, but be careful what you post.

As the above shows, more and more employers can use these channels to dig below the surface and discover the type of person you really are.

So next time you are about to post in haste, stop and think about what you’re typing.

Sally Ormond – copywriter and social media addict



Social Networking – Avoiding Bloopers

Networking online through social media sites is a great way to reach a worldwide audience.

The only problem is, once you put something out onto the web it’s gone, but not forgotten as it will be there forever.

Therefore it is important to have a strategy in place before you start. After all, you don’t want to experience that sinking feeling – you know the one I mean. When was the last time you send a text to the wrong person and stood watching your phone helplessly because you couldn’t get it back?

To help you survive and thrive in the online world, here are 3 simple tips to help you avoid making too many bloopers along the way.

1. Strategy

Briefly touched on above, it is essential you have a strategy in place before you dabble in social media.

If you throw things out in to the ether willy-nilly it will have no effect whatsoever. So, before you get going make sure you:

  • Know what the goal of your campaign is
  • Who your campaign is aimed at
  • What your audience want to know
  • The actions you need to take to get results

2. No optimisation

 The idea about social media and social networking is to boost your online visibility. But in order to be found, you must optimise your profiles.

That involves including your keywords in your biography.

3. Ignore feedback

Feedback, good and bad, must be dealt with.

Ignoring comments and messages is rather like sitting in your office and ignoring all calls and customers that walk through your door.

Social media opens up new channels through which your customers can interact with you. They will make use of your Twitter account and Facebook fan page. They will openly tell you what they think of your products and services (both the good and the bad) so it is essential you monitor these channels and deal with their feedback in a timely manner.

This is where your strategy comes into play. You must gave guidelines in place so your staff understand how to deal with positive and negative feedback to make sure you don’t end up with a PR disaster on your hands.

Over to you

Social networking is a great way to promote your business online, but it is essential you have a strategy in place.

How did you go about putting your strategy together?

Did you start out with one, or were you forced into it?

Leave your comments below and see if we can put together some best practice tips.

What is the most effective form of anchor text?

In the world of search engine optimisation, building links is essential if you are to achieve and maintain good rankings.

But how to you make sure you are using the most effective anchor text linking structure?

For many, the answer is using their keywords as their anchor text, but it is this too obvious? With Google’s very increasing sophistication, should you now be looking to mix up out linking by also using contextual anchor text (i.e. using something generic such as ‘click here’ but in close proximity to your keywords)?

I came across a very interesting post on Seomoz.org that looks at this particular issue. By conducting an experiment, both options were tested with some very interesting outcomes.

So, if you want to learn more about getting the most out of your linking strategy, grab a coffee and take 5 minutes out of your day to have a read of:

Which Type of Link Anchor Text is the Most Effective? [An Experiment]

Corporate Blogs and Blogging – A Master Class

Let’s get one thing straight from the start – corporate blogs don’t have to be boring.

It’s great that so many companies have woken up to the fact that they need to blog to:

  • Boost their SEO and link building activities
  • Position themselves as experts and market leaders
  • Provide excellent customer service

The problem is that many companies fall at the first hurdle, namely their content. For some unknown reason, businesses still feel that their blog posts have to be formal, technical and downright boring.

Well I’m here to tell you there is another way to blog.

The following 12 points will help you create and maintain an entertaining and interesting blog that people will want to read.

1. Personal

Despite what you think, a corporate blog should be personal. After all, it is a person writing the post so make sure your personality comes through.

Writing your post in the second person (like this post) will help you connect with your reader, because that is what you want to do. A blog post that simply talks at the reader won’t be well received, but if you write to your audience, it becomes much more personal.

Of course, to be able to write to your audience you have to know who they are, so make sure you do your research first.

2. Technicalities

Don’t, whatever you do, write in technical jargon. Your post has to be easy to read and that means leaving all technical terminology out. If it is absolutely necessary, make sure you define it clearly so everyone can understand.

One of the keys to writing a good blog post is to use simple language and plain English.

3. Length

Most people read blogs during their coffee break so make sure you keep them relatively short. Somewhere between 400 – 1000 words is ideal. If you think your post is likely to be longer than that, split it into 2 separate posts.

4. Scan-ability

Because people are unlikely to read every word you write, it’s essential your posts are easy to scan. Using effective headings, sub headings, bulleted lists and short paragraphs will help your reader dip in for the information they need.

5. Interesting

Above all your posts has to be interesting and relevant to your reader. Make sure you write something that will be of use to them and add value to your relationship.

6. No awards

I mentioned earlier that you need to keep your language plain and simple. You are not writing an award winning novel, it’s just a blog post to impart a useful tip or bit of information to your readers. The last thing they want is to have to sit and decipher your incomprehensible language.

They won’t be impressed by big words, so keep it simple.

7. Strong headings

As with every form of writing, your title has to be strong and compelling enough to make them want to read it. Likewise, your opening paragraph has to grab their attention and pull them in.

If your post is weak in either of these areas, you’re unlikely to attract readers.

8. SEO

Yes, it’s those horrible initials again. If you want your posts to be found, you have to use SEO techniques. Include your keyword in your heading and sub headings. It will also need to be in your body text (along with associated words and terms), but not to the extent that it makes it unreadable.

9. Show don’t tell

The underlying aim of your blog post will be to show how great your company is. But coming straight out and telling them you’re the best thing since sliced bread is not the best way to do it.

The best way to highlight your company’s greatness is through case studies and examples.

10. Variety

You can keep your blog fresh by mixing up its content. If you just constantly churn out industry news, it will get boring. Instead, offer articles on manufacturers, customer interviews, industry news, happenings within your company, top tips and how to articles.

11. Images

Blog posts are always enhanced by appropriate images. They can also act as an enticement to get people to read your post.

But make sure they are relevant and good quality.

12. Call to action

After spending (potentially) hours writing your post, make sure you make the most of it by adding a call to action.

It could be something simple as a request for comments, a link to sign up for your newsletter or white paper, or it could be a ‘call now for more information’.

You would never send out a sales letter without a call to action, so why waste this opportunity?


You see, corporate blogs don’t have to be boring. Make sure you understand who you are writing to, keep your language simple and make the blog look attractive (by using subheadings, bulleted lists etc.).

Your blog is an important sales tool and should be given as much importance as you main website and other sales materials.

Over to you

Do you run a company blog? If so, what have your experiences been?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts and questions.

Sally Ormond – Freelance Copywriter, blogger and social media addict